Kenneth Brown was jailed for four years after making off with £130.
A hapless robber used a handwritten note to threaten bookie staff and then pretended his arm was a shotgun so he could make off with just over £100.
Kenneth Brown, 56, demanded betting shop staff hand over cash or he would shoot them, then used the sleeve of his jacket to make it look like he had a weapon.
The note, written on a betting shop slip and in capital letters, said: “GIVE ME THE MONEY OR I’ll BLOW YOUR BRAINS OUT.”
After walking up to the counter as if he wanted to place a bet, Brown slid the note to the cashier and jabbed his jacket-covered hand towards the Perspex barrier to threaten her.
Shocked staff withdrew £130 from the register and handed it over to Brown, who left the shop and tried to cover a CCTV camera on his way out.
Brown carried out the audacious robbery at a Coral shop in St Leonards, East Sussex, on January 2.
Cops identified Brown through CCTV from the betting shop and he was charged with robbery.
Just over two weeks earlier, Brown stole an elderly woman’s purse outside a Co-op supermarket in the seaside town.
At Lewes Crown Court last Monday (Feb 6), Brown was jailed for four years after he pleaded guilty to one count of robbery.
Prevention Inspector Aidan Cornwall, of the Hastings and Rother Neighbourhood Policing Team, said today (Tues): “This was a callous offence where Kenneth Brown sought to put cashiers in fear that he had a firearm in order to get them to hand over money.
“He was quickly identified and arrested by our officers and we remanded him in custody to place him before the next available court.
“We welcome this robust sentence of imprisonment to protect our community.”
Brown was also ordered to pay a £228 victim surcharge and admitted theft for stealing the pensioner’s purse last December 15 at an earlier hearing.